Learn to fight and beat the crap out of somebody!
A fantastic day to you!
And you can make it so…
with a work out.
And that’s the truth.
I think I mentioned this in an earlier newsletter,
but I want to go over it again.
The question is:
why does it take so long to learn how to fight.
I had had five lessons,
and I had signed a contract,
so it was time to introduce me
to the facts of life.
It was time for my first lesson in kumite
I don’t think they knew it,
but if freestyle had been my first lesson,
I would have signed a contract then and there.
would have run out the door
after a lesson like what I received.
So the instructor,
his name was Rex Blaine,
put me in a karate stance,
put my hands in the read position,
and told me to block what he threw.
Don’t try to hit him back,
I didn’t have any control,
just protect myself.
Sounds fair, eh?
Rex was like liquid lightening.
He was small and quick.
His favorite trick was standing a brick on a table,
and punching it with a half fist.
The brick wouldn’t break,
it would shatter,
And it was due not to his power,
but to his speed.
he went to work on me,
I was big and slow and lumbering,
and didn’t know anything,
and he cut me to pieces.
He punched me gently in the ribs.
He slapped me delicately in the face.
He chopped me in the neck and kicked me in the groin.
as the lesson progressed,
he started hitting me harder.
Touches became bruises.
Slaps became welts.
He rocked my head with a punch.
The lesson ended when I struck him.
I wasn’t supposed to,
but the flow of energy into me was so great,
and suddenly I lashed out
and weak ass punched him in the shoulder.
He grinned and bowed,
I was confused,
he was pleased,
and that was the lesson.
I loved fighting.
I stayed extra late at night,
I worked out with other fellows after my classes.
I showed up an hour earlier
for the saturday kumite class,
and stayed an hour late.
I went to every tournament.
I broke bones in my hand
and insisted upon lessons while in a cast.
I broke bones in my feet,
and didn’t tell anybody.
I just wanted to fight,
in my heart of hearts,
I wanted to get over the complete and utter humilation
of that first lesson.
I didn’t want to be somebody’s rag doll.
After two years
I was okay.
They told me I would be better
after I signed my next contract.
When I went to the Kang Duk Won
things were different.
I was made to do forms endlessly,
and to work on the techniques,
at the end of class,
I would get to do a freestyle drill,
and then I was allowed to do ‘limited freestyle.’
The freestyle drill
was a same old same old drill,
a chop to the neck or the hip,
and I was expected to learn the difference between
a low block and a middle block.
The limited freestyle was
freestyle using only the right side.
freestyle using only kicks.
freestyle using only chops,
and that sort of thing.
But my opponent knew my limits,
so nobody won,
like as not,
we just ran into each other
and caused arm bruises.
I stayed there because
it was a place of power.
Instructors came from other schools
and watched the classes.
Hells Angels and other outlaw bikers attended class.
When we did forms
you could feel the swoosh of energy
sloshing through that old building
like water in a bathtub.
after two years
I was actually allowed to freestyle.
I kicked ass.
Not in a mean way,
through two years of bruises and pain,
learned to respect my opponent.
Not to play a mindless game of tag,
but to focus myself in the moment,
to be aware,
to be polite.
When I went against the upper belts,
I still lost,
but I lost gently.
They would point me,
(with fists that could kill a bull)
if it looked like I didn’t understand what they had done,
they would advise me politely and kindly,
and work with me
until I closed the chink in my armor.
A couple of years of this,
and I was near unbeatable.
I don’t say this with pride,
but with certainty
and a gratitude
for those who took the time
not to beat me,
but to educate me.
I had the opportunity to freestyle
with a fellow who attended my old school.
From the moment we bowed,
he was dead meat.
But I shifted away,
slapped his punches aside,
and gently placed my fist
on his torso.
And though I was polite with my advice,
I could tell he didn’t get it.
He still wanted to play the game of tag,
of man beat man.
True freestyle is not man beat man.
True freestyle is an education for children.
let’s return to my question.
Why does it take so long to learn freestyle?
It takes long because you don’t trust the fellow who is teaching you.
you don’t want to input the data,
you don’t trust the data,
if it comes from somebody who is beating you.
I have explained this to people,
and watch their eyes glaze over,
and this is a classic case of
people are asleep dreaming that they are awake.
They think they trust their instructor.
But they are in a position
where they are committed
and end up lying to themselves
and living the lie.
Now here’s an interesting experience for you,
the guy who taught me push hands,
he was one of my students.
I trusted him
because I was better than him,
so I was willing to input the data.
It took me a half hour to learn push hands.
And now the question becomes,
how can I get somebody else to learn that fast?
I had matrixing,
but it is more than that.
Matrixing allows me to align the data,
makes it easy to understand and apply.
But what we are talking about here
is a filter
a person puts in front of himself
to slow or control the flow and input of data.
The key ingredient here
is to enable trust to occur.
To not beat somebody up,
to not get in the game of fighting,
to not let the student erect barriers and filters.
Once I understood what I was trying to do
it became incredibly easy.
The reason I was able to was simple,
I actually wanted to teach.
I didn’t want to fight.
I wanted to learn.
That was the core of my genesis.
So I came up with the freestyle methods I use,
and they were easier than two years of bone bashing bruises,
and they didn’t allow for people gaming people
over who was better.
Key to this method was one simple datum.
When I freestyle with a guy who has NO experience,
my directions are simple.
‘I want you to slowly strike me,
and teach me how to block.’
This one simple command
opens the door.
It reverse ALL the gamesmanship of fighting,
and makes the student
from the first second on the mat,
take the viewpoint and attitude of a teacher.
He becomes a person giving,
instead of a person taking.
Take a look at the pictures of the old masters,
the ones not posing grimly,
They got over fighting,
got into sharing their knowledge,
and they ended up smiling.
Not firm jawed talk of respect,
but knowing grins and laughter.
And that is what real freestyle training should be.
if it was,
the world would be a kinder place.
Here’s the URL for Rolling Fists.
It is just one of the methods I use,
an advanced method for black belts,
but anybody can use it.
If you want to outgrow the need for beating people,
and get into the joy of real instruction,
of actually sharing the unique art that is you,
time to go out and work out,
so don’t forget that URL
And I will talk to you later.
Roman Emperor and all around good guy Marcus Aurelius said…
Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.
I found it interesting, because if you conceal a flaw, your concealment becomes a blank spot, and the world will wonder, and imagine the worst, about that blank spot. After all, if you’re concealing something, it must be bad, right?
Okey donkey, who said this gem…
An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.